Women In Business

Time – the most meaningful gift of all

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It’s that time of year again when we’re scratching our heads about what to give our clients and staff.  A pen with your logo on it?   A memory stick with your company’s name on it?  A framed copy of your latest blog?  Hmm… nice, but they reek of, well – you!  The recipient of a gift likes it to be about them.  That will make it memorable.

Then there’s the budget to consider.  How much is too much or too little?  What can you afford?  There is no right answer here but perhaps the general rule to consider with clients is that you don’t want to appear to be trying to purchase their custom for next year.  And for staff – don’t insult them!  If you’re the boss and you’re getting around in the latest Audi Quattro with all the gizmos, don’t be handing out notepads emblazoning the company brand.  It’s a really bad look.

To avoid all this confusion there is one gift you can’t go wrong with.  Time.  Below is a list of 10 things you can do that will require you to spend a little time thinking of others and, more importantly, acting on those thoughts.  Not all will suit everyone’s circumstances but some are sure to.  One thing is certain, they’ll be noticed and appreciated.  As the list descends, the appreciation increases and none will cost you a red cent.

1. Facebook Business Page like, share or positive comment.

2. LinkedIn skills endorsement.

3. If you run a paid webinar, let them hook in free – you’re going to run it anyway!

4. Publically spoken testimonial.

5. Publically posted testimonial.

6. Introduce them to a Key Person of Influence in their target market.

7. Donate a gift card for your services in a fundraiser they are running to support a charity.

8. Hook into a free webinar they may be running – they’d love the support! And while you’re there make sure you interact.

9. Offer to volunteer at their favourite charity for a day.

10. If you feel it’s appropriate, offer to mentor one of their staff members for a short time. The insight into their business it will give you could be quite valuable.

If none of those pique your interest, there is another sure fire way to say Merry Christmas to a business person.  Give them a referral.

A referral is a sign of trust.  It demonstrates to the recipient the giver has confidence in their ability to do the job well.  The referral themselves will also feel grateful that you shared your network with them to bring about a solution to their problem.  So keep your ears open, you’ve still got a month to listen out for referral opportunities.  These often start with a complaint, a fear, confusion or a boast.

So put yourself in the position of the recipient when giving this year.  Consider how you feel when certain things from certain people come your way.  Think about what makes you feel good.  The most valued presents rarely come from the wallet.

About Lisa Sweeney

Lisa Sweeney is an inspired networking professional building a business, Business in Heels, to support entrepreneurial women world-wide with resources opportunity and choice. I negotiate win-win deals for businesses looking to further their reach through our face to face events and social networks. We aim to help woman in business be successful on a global stage with equality.

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